French Cinema Essay, Research Paper
France's inestimable contribution to world cinema begins in 1889, when Emile Reynaud patented his "Th?atre Optique." This presentation system used perforated film strips, on which he painted such animated shorts as Pauvre Pierrot (1892) and La Premi?re Cigare (1896). His medium was replaced, however, by the live-action motion pictures taken with (and projected by) the Cin?matographe of brothers Louis and Auguste Lumi?re. At Paris' Grand Caf? on December 28, 1895, they held the first public screening of cinema which charged admission. Their earliest film, La Sortie Des Usines Lumi?re (1895), simply showed workers exiting their factory, but it was a sensation; so too were their other pioneering efforts that year, such as L'Ariv?e D'Un Train En Gare De La Ciotat, depicting a train entering the station, or the brief comedy L'Arroseur Arros?, the first fiction film. Louis Lumi?re hired representatives to screen his films internationally and shoot new ones for him; everyday people and activities were recorded, as well as events like the McKinley inauguration or the crowning of Czar Nicholas II. In 1900, after Lumi?re had produced some 2,000 shorts (including narrative dramas such as a life of Christ), he left films and began inventing photographic equipment. Today, this admired founder of cinema has come to epitomize film's capacity to capture real life. Film's capacity to create fantasy also had its luminary by 1900. Stage magician George M?li?s had devised his own camera and projector in 1896 and began imitating the Lumi?re films with Une Partie De Cartes. He soon developed techniques for trick-photography shorts, and the following year he built the first European film studio. There he spent the next dozen years writing and directing hundreds of popular films — faking news events, retelling fairy tales, and above all making his dazzling fantasies, such as the classics Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902) and ? La Conquete Du Pole (1911). Heavily imitated (and pirated), reluctant to deviate from his formulae, M?li?s lost his audiences by the mid teens and retired from cinema.Alice Guy begin directing films in 1896 with the fantasy La F?e Aux Choux; she made scores more over the next decade, even experimenting with sound, before leaving France in 1907 to work in America. Ferdinand Zecca found success directing such melodramas as Histoire D'Un Crime (1901) and Les Victimes De L'Alcoolisme (1902). The elegant and witty Max Linder began starring in short comedies in 1905; by the end of the decade was the most popular film comic in the world, and began directing his own films, such as Max Dans Sa Famille (1911) and Max Et Les Femmes (1912). Other noteworthy early French films include the influential drama L'Assassinat Du Duc De Guise (1908), directed by Charles le Bargy and Andr? Calmettes; Les Mis?rables (1912), directed by Albert Capellani; and La Dame Aux Camelias (1911) and La Reine Elisabeth (1912), both starring Sarah Bernhardt. Louis Feuillade began writing and directing in 1906, and after making hundreds of short comedies and dramas, came into his own during the mid teens with his stylish and hugely influential serials, most notably Fant?mas (1914), Les Vampires (1916), and Judex (1917). Actor Abel Gance became a writer/director in the early teens, and during World War One made such memorable films as the zany comedy La Folie Du Docteur Tube (1915) and the hit dramas Mater Dolorosa (1917) and La Dixi?me Symphonie (1918). After the Armistice, he completed the acclaimed anti-war film J'Accuse (1919). Several important filmmakers emerged during the 1920s. Jacques Feyder was admired for his "poetic realist" films, L'Atalantide (1921), Crainquebille (1922), Visage D'Enfants (1925), and Th?r?se Raquin (1928). Ren? Clair delighted audiences with his imaginative and funny science-fictioner Paris Qui Dort (1924, The Crazy Ray), the avant-garde romp Entr'acte (1924), and the classic comedy Un Chapeau De Paille D'Italie (1927, The Italian Straw Hat). Jean Renoir, son of painter Auguste Renoir, made the Zola adaptation Nana (1926) and the army comedy Tire-Au-Flanc (1928) with Michel Simon. Denmark's Carl Dreyer made his first masterpiece in France, the unforgettable La Passion De Jeanne D'Arc (1927, The Passion Of Joan Of Arc); so too did Spanish Surrealist Luis Bu?uel, together with Salvador Dali for the experimental classic Un Chien Andalou (1928). Max Linder, having failed to establish himself in America, returned to France and starred in the three-reeler Au Secours! (1923), directed by Abel Gance; but after Linder co-directed the Austrian production Der Zirkusk?nig (1924), he took his own life. Gance made only two features in the '20s, but both were classics. The vast romantic drama La Roue (1921) built on the virtuoso editing Gance had introduced in J'Accuse. His epic Napol?on (1927), about Bonaparte's early years, offered an array of cinematic innovations, including "Polyvision," a triple-camera process that anticipated Cinerama. The logistics of exhibiting this lengthy and technically complex film proved insurmountable, especially with the industry undergoing the transition from silent films to talkies, and Napol?on became a "lost" film until its reconstruction in 1980. Gance never fully recovered from the rejection of his masterpiece; his sound films were mostly impersonal historical dramas, excepting three major works of the 1930s: his apocalyptic melodrama La Fin Du Monde (1930) and his biopic Un Grande Amour De Beethoven (1936) both included bold experiments with sound; his remake J'Accuse (1937), a visceral, heartfelt plea against war.Ren? Clair's first sound films were the classic musical satires Sous Les Toits De Paris (1930), Le Million (1931), and ? Nous La Libert? (1931); shortly thereafter he left to direct films in Hollywood. Jean Cocteau won acclaim with his stylish avant-garde film Le Sang D'Un Po?te (1930), but Luis Bu?uel's Surrealist masterpiece, L'Age D'Or (1930), was met with outrage. Dreyer made only one other film in France, the landmark horror tale Vampyr (1932). Writer/director Jean Vigo made two classics, a comic fantasy of a boys-school uprising, Z?ro De Conduite (1933, Zero For Conduct), and the poetic love story L'Atalante (1934); then he died of leukemia at age 29. What has come to be known as the "poetic realist" style in French cinema flourished in the talkies of Julien Duvivier, notably the fantasy Le Golem (1936) and three films with writer Charles Spaak and actor Jean Gabin: La Bandera (1935), a Foreign Legion drama; La Belle Equipe (1936, They Were Five), a realistic tale of unemployed men; and P?p? Le Moko (1937), with Gabin's iconic gangster at the end of his rope in the Casbah. Jacques Feyder directed Fran?oise Rosay, his wife, in Le Grand Jeu (1934), Pension Mimosas (1935), La Kermesse H?ro?que (1935, Carnival In Flanders). Director Marcel Carn? and writer Jacques Pr?vert teamed for the comedy Dr?le De Drame (1937, Bizarre, Bizarre) with Michel Simon, and two atmospheric dramas starring Gabin: Quai Des Brumes (1938, Port Of Shadows) and Le Jour Se L?ve (1939, Daybreak). Playwright Marcel Pagnol entered films adapting his hits for other directors: Marius (1930) for Alexander Korda and Fanny (1932) for Marc All?gret, two loving satires of Marseilles life, both featuring the great character actor Raimu. Pagnol began making films of his plays with Direct Au Coeur (1933), co-directing with Roger Lion. He'd direct over a dozen films in the '30s, including a third Marseilles film with Raimu, C?sar (1936); Topaze (1936), a remake of his play after Louis Gasnier's 1932 film; Regain (1937, Harvest), a drama of peasant life; and the rural comedy La Femme Du Boulanger (1938, The Baker's Wife) with Raimu. Playwright and actor Sacha Guitry directed himself in such notable works as the dialogue-less Le Roman D'Un Tricheur (1936, The Story Of A Cheat) and his history lesson Remontons Les Champs-Elys?es (1938). African-American Josephine Baker became a star in the musicals Zou-Zou (1934), directed by Marc All?gret, and Princesse Tam-Tam, (1935), directed by Edmond T. Greville. German-born Max Ophuls fled the Nazis in 1933 and came to France, where he co-scripted and directed such films as Divine (1935) La Tendre Ennemie (1936), and Werther (1938). Jean Renoir had his most productive period in the 1930s. He starred Michel Simon in the fatalistic drama La Chienne (1931) and the comedy of middle-class hypocrisy, Boudu Sauv? Des Eaux (1933, Boudu Saved From Drowning). He anticipated Italian neorealism with the mostly non-professional cast of his drama Toni (1935); made a sardonic class-struggle story, Le Crime De M. Lange (1936), co-scripting with Jacques Pr?vert; and could follow with a short pastoral romance, Une Partie De Campagne (1936, A Day In The Country). With Spaak and Gabin, Renoir made three acclaimed films: the Maxim Gorky adaptation Les Bas Fonds (1936, The Lower Depths); the classic drama of French P.O.W.s during World War One, La Grande Illusion (1937, Grand Illusion); and the grim murder tale La B?te Humaine (1938, The Human Beast), from Zola's novel. He ended the '30s with his masterpiece, a comedy/drama of human frailty, La Regle Du Jeu (1939, Rules Of The Game). Many members of the film industry left France when World War Two began, including Renoir, Duvivier, Ophuls, Feyder, and Gabin. Those who stayed had to endure the control of the Nazi occupation, yet some filmmakers managed to do important work. Pagnol completed a comedy/drama of betrayed love, La Fille Du Puisatier (1941, The Welldigger's Daughter). Carn? and Pr?vert made their best films, the subtly anti-Nazi allegory Les Visiteurs De Soir (1942, The Devil's Envoys) and the beloved romantic drama set against the 19th-century French theater, Les Enfants Du Paradis (1945, Children Of Paradise). Jean Cocteau scripted L'Eternal Retour (1943, The Eternal Return), a reinvention of the Tristan and Isolde legend, for director Jean Delannoy. Jean Gr?millon directed two memorable social critiques, Lumi?re D'?t? (1943), written by Pr?vert, and Le Ciel Est ? Vous (1944), written by Spaak. Claude Autant-Lara directed Odette Joyeux in the comedy/dramas Le Mariage De Chiffon (1942), Lettres D'Amour (1942), and Douce (1943). Henri-Georges Clouzot made his first features during the occupation: the suspenseful L'Assassin Habite Au 21 (1942, The Murderer Lives At Number 21) and a drama about poison-pen letters in a small town, Le Corbeau (1943, The Raven). Robert Bresson and Jacques Becker — after each had spent a year as a prisoner of the Germans — also made their debuts: Bresson with Les Anges Du P?ch? (1943), featuring dialogue by Jean Giradoux; Becker with the thriller Dernier Atout (1942) and the melodrama Goupi Mains Rouges (1943). After the liberation of France and the end of the war, the reformed industry eliminated collaborators and organized the regulatory Centre National Du Cin?ma Fran?aise (CNC). Jean Cocteau scripted the Diderot adaptation Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne (1945) for director Robert Bresson, and then wrote and directed the classic fantasy La Belle Et La B?te (1946, Beauty And The Beast), with Jean Marais and Josette Day. He followed with two adaptations of his own plays, both starring Marais: the historical drama L'Aigle ? Deux T?tes (1947, The Eagle Has Two Heads) and the intimate family psychodrama Les Parents Terribles (1948). Ren? Clair returned to France and directed Maurice Chevalier in the farce Le Silence Est D'Or (1947, Man About Town). Julien Duvivier also came back and directed Panique (1946) and Au Rovaume Des Cieux (1949, The Sinners). Sacha Guitry played his own father, actor Lucien Guitry, in his biopic Le Com?dien (1948). Marcel Carn? and Jacques Pr?vert split after Les Portes De La Nuit (1946); Marcel Pagnol re-emerged with La Belle Meuni?re (1948). Writers Jean Aurenche and Pierre Bost adapted Andr? Gide for director Jean Delannoy's La Symphonie Pastorale (1946), and Raymond Radiguet for Claude Autant-Lara's Le Diable Au Corps (1946, Devil In The Flesh), which shot the young G?rard Phillipe to stardom. Jacques Becker made the romantic comedy Antoine Et Antoinette (1947), and looked at postwar life in Rendezvous De Juillet (1949). Henri-Georges Clouzot, after having been suspended from the industry because Le Corbeau's production company had been owned by Nazis, returned with the crime story Quai Des Orf?vres (1947, Jenny Lamour). Several directors had impressive debuts in these years. Ren? Cl?ment made a neorealist account of the French Resistance in La Bataille Du Rail (1945, Battle Of The Rails); writer/director Jean-Pierre Melville recalled the occupation in Le Silence De La Mer (1947). Documentarian Georges Rouquier made Farrebique (1946), a classic account of a year in the life of a French farming family, and comic actor Jacques Tati became a master director of visual humor with his hit Jour De F?te (1949). Two directors who'd left France in 1940 finally resumed their careers there in the 1950s. Max Ophuls came back to his adopted homeland and in the final years of his life made his most acclaimed films: the witty Schnitzler adaptation La Ronde (1950); Le Plaisir (1952), a trio of Guy de Maupassant stories; Madame De … (1953, The Earrings Of Madame De …), a romantic drama with Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux; and his story of the legendary circus performer, Lola Mont?s (1955), with Martine Carol. Jean Renoir, after working in the United States, India, and Italy, returned to France and made French Can Can (1955, Only The French Can), a look at the origins of the Moulin Rouge, with Jean Gabin; El?na Et Les Hommes (1956, Paris Does Strange Things), a romantic comedy with Ingrid Bergman and Jean Marais; and another pastoral, Le D?jeuner Sur L'Herbe (1959, Picnic On The Grass). Other veteran French filmmakers contributed noteworthy films in the '50s. Jean Cocteau made perhaps his finest work, the dazzling fantasy Orph?e (1950, Orpheus), with Jean Marais; for director Jean-Pierre Melville, Cocteau also scripted Les Enfants Terribles (1950), a superb adaptation of his famous novel of the incestuous rapport between a brother and sister. Marc All?gret made a documentary about his novelist uncle, Avec Andr? Gide (1952), and adapted D.H. Lawrence for L'Amant De Lady Chatterley (1955, Lady Chatterley's Lover). Ren? Clair made three comedy/dramas with G?rard Phillipe: La Beaut? Du Diable (1950, Beauty And The Devil), Les Belles De Nuit (1952, Beauties Of The Night), and Les Grandes Manoeuvres (1955). Marcel Pagnol filmed his second remake of Topaze (1951), the rural drama Manon Des Sources (1952), and a trio of humorous tales, Les Lettres De Mon Moulin (1954). Sacha Guitry stayed behind the cameras for the thrillers La Poison (1951) and Assassins Et Voleurs (1956). Duvivier directed Fernandel as an eccentric priest in Le Petit Monde De Don Camillo (1951, The Little World Of Don Camillo) and Le Retour De Don Camillo (1953, The Return Of Don Camillo). Aurenche and Bost wrote many of their finest films in the '50s. They adapted Victor Hugo for Jean Delannoy's Notre Dame De Paris (1956, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame), with Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo. For Claude Autant-Lara, they scripted the dark farce L'Auberge Rouge (1951, The Red Inn), the Standahl adaptation Le Rouge Et Le Noir (1954), and the romance Le Bl? En Herbe (1954). Most notably, they wrote Ren? Cl?ment's classic anti-war film Jeux Interdits (1952, Forbidden Games), about young children coming to understand death; they also adapted Zola for Cl?ment's Gervaise (1956). Jacques Becker directed and co-scripted the films for which he is most highly regarded: the romantic comedy Edouard Et Caroline (1951); the atmospheric drama of ill-fated lovers, Casque D'Or (1952); the crime film Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (1954, Grisbi); and the Modigliani biopic Montparnasse 19 (1958), starring G?rard Phillipe. Henri-Georges Clouzot made three classic films: the thriller of desperate men transporting nitroglycerine, Le Salaire De La Peur (1953, The Wages Of Fear); the murder tale Les Diaboliques (1955, Diabolique); and a documentary of Picasso at work, Le Myst?re Picasso (1956, The Mystery Of Picasso). Robert Bresson also made three of his most acclaimed films: the religious drama Le Journal D'Un Cur? De Campagne (1951), the prison film Un Condamn? ? Mort S'Est ?chapp? (1956), and the study of a thief, Pickpocket (1959). Jean-Pierre Melville scored with his first major crime film, Bob Le Flambeur (1955), and Jacques Tati made two of his most best comedies, Les Vacances De Monsieur Hulot (1953, Mr. Hulot's Holiday) and Mon Oncle (1958). Luis Bu?uel began dividing his time between Mexico and France; his '50s French films include La Fi?vre Monte ? El Pao (1959), with the last performance of G?rard Phillipe. The 1950s also saw the emergence of a new generation of filmakers. Roger Vadim created a sensation starring his wife Brigitte Bardot in the sensual … Et Dieu Cr?a La Femme (1956, … And God Created Woman). Louis Malle, after co-directing the underwater documentary Le Monde Du Silence (1956, The Silent World) with Jacques-Yves Cousteau, directed and co-scripted two more hits: the thriller Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (1957, Elevator To The Gallows; Frantic) and the erotic drama Les Amants (1958, The Lovers), both starring Jeanne Moreau. Alain Resnais made several impressive short documentaries, most notably his classic reflection on the Holocaust, Nuit Et Brouillard (1955, aka Night And Fog); his first feature was the international hit Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), a heartbreaking tale of love eclipsed by memories of the wartime past, scripted by Marguerite Duras. Georges Franju directed one of the era's great horror films, Les Yeux Sans Visage (1959, Eyes Without A Face; The Horror Chamber Of Dr. Faustus). Film critics from the magazine "Cahiers Du Cin?ma" began making their own features, in a movement that has come to be known as the "Nouvelle Vague," or New Wave. Claude Chabrol wrote, produced, and directed two provocative psychological dramas: Le Beau Serge (1958, Bitter Reunion) and Les Cousins (1959, The Cousins). Fran?ois Truffaut made an unforgettable account of his adolescence, Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959, The 400 Blows), introducing the 15-year-old actor Jean-Pierre Leaud. Jean-Luc Godard, the most formally radical, wrote and directed the landmark A Bout De Souffle (1959, Breathless) and made a star of Jean-Paul Belmondo. In the '60s, the New Wave came to define French cinema for international audiences. Truffaut's films included the satire Tirez Sur Le Pianiste (1960, Shoot The Piano Player); the touching romantic-triangle drama Jules Et Jim (1961, Jules And Jim); the Hitchcockian thriller La Mari?e ?tait En Noir (1967, The Bride Wore Black); and the moving, fact-based account of a boy raised in the wild, L'Enfant Sauvage (1969, The Wild Child). Godard, besides adapting Alberto Moravia for a striking look at filmmaking, Le M?pris (1963, Contempt), also starred his wife Anna Karina in a series of provocative dramas: Une Femme Est Une Femme (1961, A Woman Is A Woman), Vivre Sa Vie (1962, My Life To Live), Bande ? Part (1964, Band Of Outsiders), and most notably two 1965 films, the visionary science-fictioner Alphaville and the politically strident Pierrot Le Fou with Belmondo. Radical left-wing politics became increasingly important in Godard's films. Jean-Pierre Leaud starred in such memorable assaults on the bourgeoisie as Masculin-F?minin (1966), Made In U.S.A. (1966), La Chinoise (1967), and Weekend (1967); One Plus One (1968, Sympathy For The Devil) included the Rolling Stones in its Marxist sloganeering. By the end of the '60s, Godard was making didactic films in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Gorin and other members of the Dziga-Vertov Group, including Pravda (1969) and Vent D'Est (1969, Wind From The East). Chabrol made two hit thrillers, La Femme Infid?le (1969) and Que La B?te Meure (1969, This Man Must Die). Other "Cahiers" writers also took the plunge into making features. Jacques Rivette starred Anna Karina in his Diderot adapataion La Religieuse (1967). Erik Rohmer made romantic comedy/dramas in a series he called "Six Moral Tales," with number 4, Ma Nuit Chez Maud (1969, My Night At Maud's), scoring an international hit. Alain Resnais became a virtuoso at manipulating time and narrative in his classic of ambiguity, L'Ann?e Derni?re ? Marienbad (1961, Last Year At Marienbad), scripted by Alain Robbe-Grillet; Jorge Semprun wrote Resnais's acclaimed look at an aging political activist, La Guerre Est Finie (1966). Louis Malle showed an impresive range of subjects with his charming comedy, Zazie Dans Le M?tro (1960); a drama of alcoholism, Le Feu Follet (1963, The Fire Within); the feminist farce Viva Maria! (1965); and the documentary L'Inde Fant?me (1969, Phantom India). After divorcing Bardot, Roger Vadim showcased his new lovers and wives: Annette Stroyberg in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1959) and Et Mourir De Plaisir (1960, Blood And Roses); Catherine Deneuve in Le Vice Et La Vertu (1963, Vice And Virtue); Jane Fonda in La Ronde (1964, Circle Of Love), La Cur?e (1966, The Game Is Over), and Barbarella (1968). Georges Franju offered his hommage to Louis Feuillade with Judex (1963) and adapted Cocteau with Thomas L'Imposteur (1964). After starring Belmondo in an unusual drama of a priest in love, L?on Morin, Pr?tre (1961), Jean-Pierre Melville made his most acclaimed crime films: Le Doulos (1962) with Belmondo, Le Deuxi?me Souffle (1966) with Lino Ventura, and Le Samourai (1967) with Alain Delon. Ren? Cl?ment scored with the stylish thriller Plein Soleil (1960, Purple Noon), also starring Delon. Jacques Tati made only one comedy in the '60s, the hilarious Playtime (1968). Jean Delannoy directed La Princesse De Cl?ves (1961), scripted by Cocteau, and the unusual drama of adolescent gay love, Les Amit?s Particuli?res (1964, This Special Friendship). Robert Bresson's increasingly austere and spirtual films included Le Proc?s De Jeanne D'Arc (1962), the allegorical Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), and the Dostoevsky adaptation Une Femme Douce (1969). Luis Bu?uel, co-scripting with Jean-Claude Carri?re, made the Mirabeau adaptation Le Journal D'Une Femme De Chambre (1964, Diary Of A Chambermaid) with Jeanne Moreau; the acclaimed tale of a woman's secret life as a prostitute, Belle De Jour (1966) with Catherine Deneuve; and the anti-religious pilgrimage La Voie Lact?e (1969, The Milky Way). The '60s marked the last hurrah for several major filmmakers. Cocteau wrote and directed the surreal Le Testament D'Orph?e (1960, The Testament Of Orpheus). Marcel Pagnol's final film was for television, Le Cur? De Cucugnan (1967). Ren? Clair ended his career with Les F?tes Galantes (1965). Jacques Becker's farewell was the harsh prison film Le Trou (1960, The Hole). Long plagued by ill health, Henri-Georges Clouzot retired after his controversial La Prisonni?re (1968). Jean Renoir reinvented the Jekyll & Hyde story in Le Testament Du Dr. Cordelier (1961), looked at French P.O.W.s during World War two in Le Caporal ?pingl? (1962, The Elusive Corporal), and ended his career with the retrospective Le Petit Th??tre De Jean Renoir (1969, The Little Theater Of Jean Renoir). Several important new writer/directors also began their careers in the '60s. Jacques Demy debuted with the romantic drama Lola (1961) and had an international hit with his musical Les Parapluies De Cherbourg (1964, The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg). Demy's wife Agnes Varda made the real-time drama Cl?o De 5 ? 7 (1962, Cleo From 5 To 7). Serge Bourguignon filmed an exquisite tale of a shell-shocked war veteran revitalized by little girl's love, Les Dimanches De Ville D'Avray (1962, Sundays And Cyb?le). Phillipe de Broca made the popular comedies L'Homme De Rio (1964, That Man From Rio) and Le Roi De Coeur (1966, King Of Hearts). Constantin Costa-Gavras debuted with the thriller Compartment Tueurs (1965, The Sleeping Car Murder) and found fame with the political drama Z (1969) starring Yves Montand. Claude Lelouch had hits with the romantic tales Un Homme Et Une Femme (1966, A Man And A Woman) and Vivre Pour Vivre (1967, Live For Life). Claude Berri's debut was Le Vieil Homme Et L'Enfant (1967, The Two Of Us), the beloved story of a Jewish boy during World War Two, who's protected by a gruff old anti-Semite, played by Michel Simon; also admired was Berri's comedy Mazel Tov Ou Le Mariage (1968, Marry Me! Marry Me!). Two writers for Alain Resnais began directing their own innovative films: Alain Robbe-Grillet with L'Immortelle (1963), and Marguerite Duras with D?truire, Dit-Elle (1969, Destroy, She Said). The 1970s saw the last crime films of Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Cercle Rouge (1970) and Un Flic (1972, Dirty Money), both starring Alain Delon. Jacques Tati made his final comedies, the motorist's nightmare, Traffic (1971), and a television production, Parade (1974). Bu?uel completed three last films with Carri?re: the classic comedy of upper-class sterility, Le Charme Discret De La Bourgeoisie (1972, The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie), the episodic satire Le Fant?me De La Libert? (1974, The Phantom Of Liberty), and an account of amour fou, Cet Obscur Objet Du Desir (1977, That Obscure Object Of Desire). Robert Bresson made a trio of acclaimed films: the Dostoevsky adaptation Quatre Nuits D'Un R?veur (1971), the medieval tale Lancelot Du Lac (1974), and Le Diable Probablement (1977). Ren? Cl?ment found success with two more thrillers: Le Passager De La Pluie (1970, Rider On The Rain) and La Course Du Li?vre A Travers Les Champs (1972, And Hope To Die). Before leaving to make films in America, Louis Malle took two very different looks at youth: a comedy of mother-son incest, Le Souffle Au Coeur (1971, Murmur Of The Heart), and a drama of a peasant collaborator during the occupation, Lacombe, Lucien (1973). Alain Resnais made only two films in the '70s, but they were two of his best: the political drama Stavisky … (1974), written by Jorge Semprun, and the English-language Providence (1977), a tale of memory and fantasy, scripted by David Mercer. In the '70s Truffaut saluted filmmaking in La Nuit Am?ricaine (1973, Day For Night); starred Isabelle Adjani as the tragic daughter of Victor Hugo, losing her mind over a soldier who doesn't love her, in the moving L'Histoire D'Ad?le H. (1975, The Story Of Ad?le H.); and adaptated Henry James with Le Chambre Verte (1978, The Green Room), starring himself. Godard collaborated with Jean-Pierre Gorin on such films as Vladimir Et Rosa (1971), in which they both appeared, and Tout Va Bien (1972) with Jane Fonda and Yves Montand. Working solo again later in the decade, Godard completed Num?ro Deux (1975), Comment ?ava (1976), and Ici Et Ailleurs (1977). Chabrol made the hit thrillers Le Boucher (1970), Les Noces Rouges (1973, Wedding In Blood), and Violette Nozi?re (1978, Violette). Eric Rohmer, completing his cycle of Moral Tales with the hits Le Genou De Claire (1971, Claire's Knee) and L'Amour L'Apr?s-Midi (1972, Chloe In The Afternoon), followed with a pair of unusual dramas set in the Middle Ages: La Marquise D'O (1976, The Marquise Of O) and Perceval Le Gallois (1978, Perceval). Jacques Rivette, working in a more accessible style, made the popular C?line Et Julie Vont En Bateau (1974, C?line And Julie Go Boating). Agnes Varda also scored with the feminist buddy film L'Une Chante, L'Autre Pas (1977, One Sings, The Other Doesn't); Jacques Demy made the fairy tale Peau D'Ane (1971, Donkey Skin). Costa-Gavras starred Montand in two political dramas, L'Aveu (1970, The Confession) and L'?tat De Si?ge (1972, State Of Siege); he also recalled the occupation in Section Speciale (1975, Special Section). Claude Berri made the popular comedies Le Sex Shop (1972) and Le Male Du Si?cle (1975, Male Of The Century). Audiences also embraced the Claude Lelouch films Le Chat Et La Souris (1975, Cat And Mouse) and Robert Et Robert (1978). Marguerite Duras made some of her most memorable films: Nathalie Granger (1973), India Song (1975), and Des Journ?es Enti?res Dans Les Arbres (1976, Days In The Trees). Several new filmmakers also enjoyed success in the 1970s. Claude Sautet was admired for his character studies, most notably C?sar Et Rosalie (1972, Cesar And Rosalie), Vincent, Fran?ois, Paul … Et Les Autres (1975, Vincent, Fran?ois, Paul And The Others), and Une Histoire Simple (1978, A Simple Story). Barbet Schroeder made two impressive documentaries, G?n?ral Idi Amin Dada (1974, Idi Amin Dada) and Koko, Le Gorille Qui Parle (1978, Koko, The Talking Gorilla), as well as the S&M-themed Ma?tresse (1976). Writer/director Claude Miller debuted with his transvestite comedy/drama La Meilleure Fa?on De Marcher (1976, The Best Way). Bertrand Blier made several provocative black comedies starring G?rard Depardieu: Les Valseuses (1974, Going Places), Preparez Vos Mouchoirs (1978, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs), and Buffet Froid (1979). Jean-Charles Tacchella had a hit with his romantic farce Cousin, Cousine (1975). Jean-Jacques Annaud took a winning look at the French in Africa during World War One with Noirs Et Blancs En Couleurs (1977, Black And White In Color). Bertrand Tavernier and actor Philippe Noiret scored with the Simenon adaptation L'Horloger De Saint-Paul (1974, The Clockmaker) and the mystery thriller Le Juge Et L'Assassin (1976, The Judge And The Assassin). Recent years have seen the end of several major careers in French cinema. Robert Bresson's final film, L'Argent (1983), was a drama of human cupidity. Georges Rouquier returned to the farming region where he shot Farrebique and made an acclaimed sequel, Biquefarre (1983). Louis Malle, working mostly in America in his last years, returned to France to make the drama Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987), set during the occupation, and the comedy Milou En Mai (1990, May Fools), set during the 1968 riots. Fran?ois Truffaut's last films were the occupation story Le Dernier M?tro (1980, The Last Metro), the romantic drama La Femme D'? C?t? (1981, The Woman Next Door), and the comedy/mystery Vivement Dimanche! (1983, Confidentially Yours). Jacques Demy ended his career with the Yves Montand musical Trois Places Pour Le 26 (1988). Other filmmakers have remained at the top of their game. Godard returned to commercial — yet still highly personal — filmmaking, most notably with his controversial take on the Holy Family, Je Vous Salue, Marie (1985, Hail, Mary); King Lear (1987) with Burgess Meredith and Molly Ringwald; and his self-portrait JLG (1994). Claude Chabrol scored with his crime drama Poulet Au Vinaigre (1984, Cop Au Vin) and its sequel, Inspecteur Lavardin (1986); Une Affaire des Femmes (1988, Story Of Women), his fact-based account of the last woman to be executed in France; and the psychological drama La C?r?monie (1996). Alain Resnais and writer Jean Gruault made a trio of impressive films: Mon Oncle D'Amerique (1980), La Vie Est Un Roman (1983, Life Is A Bed Of Roses), and L'Amour ? Mort (1984, Love Unto Death). Resnais himself scripted the talky M?lo (1986). Eric Rohmer made a cycle called "com?dies et proverbs," which included La Femme D'Aviateur (1981, The Aviator's Wife), Pauline ? La Plage (1983, Pauline At The Beach), Le Rayon Vert (1986, Summer), and L'Ami De Mon Amie (1987, Boyfriends And Girlfriends). His most recent series, based on the seasons, includes Conte De Printemps (1989, A Tale Of Springtime) and Un Conte D'Hiver (1992, A Tale Of Winter). Jacques Rivette made the impressive tale of a reinspired artist, La Belle Noiseuse (1991). Agnes Varda had an international hit with her drama of a homeless young woman, Sans Toit Ni Loi (1985, Vagabond), and made a reminiscence of Jacques Demy, Jacquot De Nantes (1991). Claude Lelouch's recent successes include the sequel Un Homme Et Une Femme: Vingt Ans D?j? (1986, A Man And A Woman: 20 Years Later). Claude Berri adapted Marcel Pagnol for Jean De Florette (1986) and Manon Des Sources (1986, Manon Of the Spring). Claude Sautet had a hit with his romantic-triangle drama Un Coeur En Hiver (1992). Among the later acid comedies of Bertrand Blier are the intergenerational romance Beau P?re (1981) and the bisexual love story Tenue De Soir?e (1986, M?nage). Bertrand Tavernier made the Jim Thompson adaptation Coup De Torchon (1981, Clean Slate) and Au De Minuit (1986, Round Midnight), about a black American jazz musician in France, with sax player Dexter Gordon. Jean-Jacques Annaud's films included the prehistoric drama La Guerre Du Feu (1982, Quest For Fire); L'Ours (1988, The Bear), starring a bear cub; and the Marguerite Duras adaptation The Lover (1992). New filmmakers continue to produce vital work. Diane Kurys won audiences with her drama of friendship between women, Coup De Foudre (1983, Entre Nous), and her tale of a marital breakup, La-Balue-Les-Pins (1990, C'Est La Vie). Maurice Pialat made three memorable films with G?rard Depardieu: the romantic drama Loulou (1980), the crime film Police (1984), and the religious drama Sous Le Soleil De Satan (1987, Under The Sun Of Satan). Depardieu also found acclaim starring in Cyrano De Bergerac (1990) for director Jean-Paul Rappeaneau, and playing the 17th-century composer Marin Marais in Tous Les Matins Du Monde (1991), co-scripted and directed by Alain Corneau. Luc Besson is admired for his dialogueless science-fictioner Le Dernier Combat (1984) and his espionage tale La Femme Nikita (1991). Another stylist is Jean-Jacques Beineix, who directed the hit thriller Diva (1981); the revenge tale La Lune Dans Le Caniveau (1983, The Moon In The Gutter), and the psychological drama 37.2 Le Matin (1986, Betty Blue). Writer/director Claire Denis made provocative dramas of race relations: the autobiographical Chocolat (1988), set in French West Africa during the 1950s, and the fact-based account of two serial killers, J'Ai Pas Sommeil (1995, I Can't Sleep), who were also interracial gay lovers. Cyril Collard starred in and directed a powerful drama of bisexual desire, Les Nuits Fauves (1993, Savage Nights). One of the leaders of world cinema since its birth, France is clearly destined to remain an essential contributor to the artform in the 21st century.
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